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Susan Lyne named Gilt Groupe CEO

Former Martha Stewart chief to run online retailer

Susan Lyne, former chief of ABC Entertainment and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, is bailing on the media sector in favor of running an online luxury goods retailer.

Lyne has been tapped as CEO of Gilt Groupe, a Web-based concern that offers steep discounts on high-end items to members of its online community. Company was founded late last year by Alexis Maybank, a former eBay exec, and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, a former exec with Bulgari and Louis Vuitton, with backing from venture capital shingle Matrix Partners and Alley Corp.

Lyne, who left MSLO in June after four years at the helm, succeeds Maybank as Gilt Groupe CEO. She’d been speculated as a contender to take the top job at the cabler Oprah Winfrey is preparing to launch next year with Discovery Communications, but Lyne said she was “enormously impressed” by the growth potential of the Gilt.com service.

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